Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring Cleaning ... Kinda Sorta

You all know that cleaning is NOT on my list of fun things to do.  From the time I was probably six years old, an old T-shirt was stuck in my hand with instructions to wipe down all the furniture.  Who wants to do THAT?  I'd much rather be out in the corrals riding the horses bareback.

As kids, we did that a lot.  I'm really not sure if anyone actually bothered to keep an eye on us or not. We were pretty smart as kids go ... we would get the horses out of the barn and alongside the fence, then climb up the rails and jump on, grabbing a handful of mane so we didn't keep on going over the other side.  Most times it worked.   Other times we got a bump on the noggin!

We walked and trotted the horses around the corral until they headed for the barn.  That was the dangerous part.  The door opening was barely tall enough for the horse.  Your timing had to be perfect as we immediately laid down on their neck and held on, making sure our legs didn't get caught on the doors.  A minute later we did it again, laughing all the way OUT the door.

Yes, we occasionally fell off and I got my boots stepped on more than once, which I attribute my low arches to.  When that fun was over, we took to the top rails of the fence, walking along from post to post and scrambling around the big gates.  It was pure fun!!  We didn't get hurt then either, although I'm not sure how or why we never fell off.

At any rate, back to cleaning.  As you can imagine, it was NEVER on my list of things to do, so NOW it's a real chore I hate with a passion.  Yes I vacuum and occasionally dust, but I HATE IT!!  So yesterday as I wandered through the house from one end to another, I kept seeing all those puppy prints in the breakfast nook where the dogs go in and out.  I mean to tell you it was a BIG mess.

I know wood floors are all the rage, but they are a pain in the patoosky to clean.  In order to keep them looking nice, I have to be on hands and knees with several damp cloths to mop them.  Everything else I have tried leaves dirty big streaks, making it even harder to clean.  Once that dries, I use Bona in a spray bottle along with a special bona mop thingy and after an hour ... VOILA ... clean floors.  Of course as soon as the dogs went in and out twice, it was dirty again.  C'est la vie!!
As you can see, I didn't get much further than the breakfast nook.  Wood floors are wonderful if you don't have to clean them.   Here's another reason they are dirty ... slimy, slobbery Cooper toys are rolled all over them from morning to night.  Unfortunately, these toys don't have the survivability they used to.  This morning when he's not looking, I'll throw this one in the trash OUTSIDE, because he can smell it inside and will bark until I give it back to him.
Here's the recipe I cooked in my Instant Pot.  Really, it won't keep YOU up all night long.  It's not in the least bit spicy ... it's just meat.  For whatever reason, my stomach has decided I've had enough beef in my life.  It's just happy as can be with chicken and turkey.  

So here we go ... cut up a pot roast into big chunks while the pot heats up on SAUTE.  I used about a tablespoon of oil in the bottom first to keep it from sticking.  Season the meat and brown it well, just as you would in a frying pan on the stove.  

Now here's the thing to remember, since I've seen LOTS of user errors with these things ... hit the CANCEL button and let it cool slightly.  People try to go from one stage to the next without CANCEL in between so the pot doesn't do what they want it to.

I put all the meat back in, along with a can of beef broth.  In order for this thing to work, you MUST have a minimum of one cup of liquid in the bottom no matter what you cook.  I seasoned it again with cumin, oregano, bay leaves, four cloves of garlic and whatever else you want to throw in, then set it to MANUAL, high pressure, for 50 minutes.  

I've noticed every recipe is different when it comes to TIME.  Here's the thing ... if it's not done enough, turn it back on and let it go again for a few more minutes.  It all depends on the size of the pot, how much liquid you have and your altitude, making for a tad bit of guesswork occasionally.  
Mine came out perfectly tender.  I didn't even need a fork to shred it ... I used this wooden spoon.  It was WONDERFUL!!  I had shredded beef street tacos for dinner.  The REAL problem was I ate THREE of them.  That's why I was up all night!!  Live and learn ... well not really, I KNOW I shouldn't do that, so I have absolutely NO excuse for overeating.
For those who peruse the internet looking for recipes to print out, I've come across a great APP just for that.  Yes you have to pay $4.99 for it, but honestly, I thought it was worth it in the first ten minutes I played with it.  I'll explain all about it tomorrow.  For now, I'm back on my hands and knees cleaning the front entry way floor.  Eventually I might even get all those clean spots to meet up!!


  1. You might want to try the Libman Freedom Spray Mop. The mop head is like a 'rag', comes off easy for washing in washing machine, and the best thing is you can use any type of cleaner you want in the spray mop (same thing you are using in your spray bottle). It worked great on our floor, and you don't get down on your hands and knees.

    1. I'll give that a try Dave. I have to clean it first before putting Bona on or it becomes a big mess. Your mop sounds better than my hands and knees!!

  2. I was thinking the other day about your post on will power, eating because you are bored and gaining "X" pounds but did not have a chance to comment. Obviously the best answer is go find some will power. I'm not holding my breath that that is going to start working for you at this late date. Now for plan B. Fear! Go out to the internet get a program that allows you to alter a photo. This photo would be one of you. You manipulate the photo to get a picture of you plus 5 pounds, plus, 10 pounds, plus 15 pounds, plus 20 pounds, up to plus 50 pounds. You start with the picture of you 5 pounds heavier than today. Post it on the refrigerator. If you go into the refrigerator more than 5 times next week because you are bored, you take down the picture of you plus 5 pounds and replace it with a picture of you 10 pounds heavier. If the next week you go into the refrigerator more than 5 times because you are bored, that picture gets replaced by the 15 pounds plus version. While I'm not certain that this concept is guaranteed to work, I am pretty certain that you would never have to post the 50 pounds plus version on your refrigerator.
    Since you have no one there to encourage/discipline you, you have to make yourself the person to do that. The concept might sound severe, but I'm betting you want to see the results, so why not give it a try. Good Luck, I 'll be watching for the results. Jim M

    1. What an interesting idea Jim. The pictures of a skinny girl in a bathing suit hasn't worked in the past ... but a BIGGER picture ... now THAT might work!!

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